Identification Guide for Three Cent United States Postage Stamps

a service of

V. F. Thomas Co. - P. O. Box 400 - Southwest Harbor, ME 04679
info@vfthomas.com - 207-266-5748


(updated 6 December 2014)


Welcome to the online identification guide for three cent United States postage stamps.

Purpose of this web page: The purpose of this web page is to help you identify the Scott number for three cent United States postage stamps.

Limitations of this web page: This page often requires you to use a perforation gauge to determine how many perforations there are in 2 cm. Sometimes you will have to determine whether the paper a stamp is printed on is watermarked or not. Occasionally you will have to measure the design to determine the printing method used. These are tasks you have to perform and are not something that you can ask someone to do based on an image of a stamp. Further, this is not the place for determining the value of a stamp. There are many variables that can affect the value of a stamp, and these usually require a direct examination of the stamp. A good place to begin is a local stamp club. Club members are usually willing to give you an idea if what you have is worth a more detailed review by a dealer. They can also save you the embarrassment of walking into a dealer's shop and announcing that you have found a rare stamp, which you probably have not.

How to contribute: Feedback about this page is welcomed and should be e-mailed to info@vfthomas.com or sent by traditional mail to U.S. Postage Stamp Identifier, c/o V. F. Thomas Co.; P. O. Box 400; Southwest Harbor, ME 04679.






There are 306 United States postage stamps with a denomination of three cents. You can determine which one you have by comparing your stamp with the images below and then reading what is printed to the right of the matching image. Sometimes that will involve working your way from left to right in a table.



Washington
designs A10, A21, and A21a
These designs are so similar that only one example is pictured here.
Based on the images and descriptions below from the Scott Specialized Catalogue, determine which type your stamp is. Then turn to the table at the right.

Type I (image below) - "There is an outer frame line on all four sides. The outer frame lines at the sides are always recut, but the inner lines at the sides are not recut." [design A10]
   

Type II (image below) - "[T]he inner lines at the sides also recut." [design A10]
   

Type III (image below) - "There are no outer frame lines at top and bottom. The side frame lines were recut so as to be continuous from the top to the bottom of the plate. Stamps from the top or bottom rows show the ends of the side frame lines and may be mistaken for type IV." [design A21]
   

Type IV - "As type III, but the side frame lines extend only to the top and bottom of the stamp design." [design A21a]
   [image to be obtained]
perf. 151/2 type I - Your stamp is Scott #25
type II - Your stamp is Scott #25A
type III - Your stamp is Scott #26
type IV - Your stamp is Scott #26A
perf. 12 - Your stamp is Scott #41
imperf. type I orange-brown - Your stamp is Scott #10
dull red - Your stamp is Scott #11
type II orange-brown - Your stamp is Scott #10A
dull red - Your stamp is Scott #11A




Washington
design A25
without grill pink - Your stamp is Scott #64
rose - Your stamp is Scott #65
brown-red - Your stamp is Scott #104 [rare, 465 sold]
with grill grill covering entire stamp (= grill A); rose - Your stamp is Scott #79
grill about 18 x 15 mm, 22 x 18 points (= grill B); rose - Your stamp is Scott #82 [rare, 4 known]
grill about 13 x 16 mm, 16–17 x 18–21 points (= grill C); rose - Your stamp is Scott #83
grill about 12 x 14 mm, 15 x 17–18 points (= grill D); rose - Your stamp is Scott #85
grill about 11 x 13 mm, 14–15 x 17 points (= grill E); rose - Your stamp is Scott #88
grill about 9 x 13 mm, 11–12 x 15–17 points (= grill F); red - Your stamp is Scott #94
grill about 11 x 14 mm, 13–14 x 18 points (= grill Z); rose - Your stamp is Scott #85C




locomotive
design A36
with grill about 9.5 x 9 mm, 12 x 11–11.5 points (= grill G); ultramarine; hard, wove paper - Your stamp is Scott #114
without grill; blue; hard, white paper with white, crackly gum - Your stamp is Scott #125




Washington
designs A46, A46a, and A46b
These designs are so similar that only one example is pictured here.
Based on the images and descriptions below from the Scott Specialized Catalogue, determine which design your stamp is. Then turn to the table at the right.

design A46 (feature 1; image below) - no heavy shading on underside of ribbon at lower left portion of design
   

design A46 (feature 2; image below) - no short, horizontal mark at lower right of design
   

design A46a (image below) - heavy shading on underside of ribbon
   

design A46b (image below) - short, horizontal mark at lower right of design, on sixth row of background lines from the bottom
   
design A46 with grill; green grill 11–13 x 14–16 points - Your stamp is Scott #136
grill 10 or 11 x 10–13 points - Your stamp is Scott #136A
without grill; green - Your stamp is Scott #147
design A46a white, wove paper, thin to thick; green - Your stamp is Scott #158
hard, white wove paper; without gum; blue-green - Your stamp is Scott #169 [rare]
soft, porous paper; green - Your stamp is Scott #184
soft, porous paper; without gum; blue-green - Your stamp is Scott #194 [rare, 267 sold]
design A46b blue-green - Your stamp is Scott #207
vermilion - Your stamp is Scott #214




Andrew Jackson
design A62
Your stamp is Scott #221




Flag Ship of Columbus
design A73
[image provided by Scott Payton]
Your stamp is Scott #232




Andrew Jackson
design A89
unwatermarked - Your stamp is Scott #253
double-line watermark - Your stamp is Scott #268




Andrew Jackson
design A117
Your stamp is Scott #302




Louisiana Purchase Exposition Issue
Commemorative Series of 1904
Monroe (1758–1831)
design A132
[image provided by Scott Payton]
Your stamp is Scott #325




Washington
design A140
Based on the images and descriptions below from the Scott Specialized Catalogue, determine which type your stamp is. Then turn to the table at the right.

Type I (image below) - "The top line of the toga rope is weak and the rope shading lines are thin. The 5th line from the left is missing. The line between the lips is thin."
   

Type II (image below) - "The top line of the toga rope is strong and the rope shading lines are heavy and complete. The line between the lips is heavy."
   

Type III (images below) - "The top line of the toga rope is strong but the 5th shading line is missing as in type I. Center (vertical) shading line of the toga button consists of two dashes with a central dot. The 'P' and 'O' of 'POSTAGE' are separated by a line of color. The frame line at the bottom of the vignette is complete."
    

Type IV (images below) - "The shading lines of the toga rope are complete. The second and fourth shading lines in the toga button are broken in the middle and the third line is continuous with a dot in the center. The 'P' and 'O' of 'POSTAGE' are joined. The frame line at the bottom of the vignette is broken."
    
perf. 12
   [all type I, flat plate, and deep violet]
double-line watermark white paper - Your stamp is Scott #333
bluish paper - Your stamp is Scott #359 [rare]
single-line watermark - Your stamp is Scott #376
perf. 12 vert. - Your stamp is Scott #389 [type I; flat plate; deep violet; rare]
perf. 11
   [all unwatermarked]
type I - Your stamp is Scott #501 [light violet; flat plate]
type II - Your stamp is Scott #502 [dark violet; flat plate]
type III - Your stamp is Scott #529 [violet; offset]
type IV - Your stamp is Scott #530 [purple; offset]
perf. 11 x 10 - Your stamp is Scott #541 [type II; rotary press (design 19.5–20 x 22–22.25 mm); violet; unwatermarked]
perf. 10
   [both type I and flat plate]
single-line watermark - Your stamp is Scott #426 [deep violet]
unwatermarked - Your stamp is Scott #464 [violet]
perf. 10 vert.
   [all violet]
single-line watermark
   [both type I]
flat plate (design 18.5–19 x 22 mm) - Your stamp is Scott #445
rotary press (design 19.5–20 x 22 mm) - Your stamp is Scott #456
unwatermarked
   [both rotary press (design 19.5–20 x 22 mm)]
type I - Your stamp is Scott #493
type II - Your stamp is Scott #494
perf. 10 hor. - Your stamp is Scott #489 [type I; rotary press (design 18.5–19 x 22.5 mm); violet; unwatermarked]
perf. 81/2 vert. - Your stamp is Scott #394 [type I; flat plate; violet; single-line watermark]
imperf. type I
   [both flat plate]
double-line watermark - Your stamp is Scott #345 [deep violet]
unwatermarked - Your stamp is Scott #483 [violet]
type II - Your stamp is Scott #484 [flat plate; violet; unwatermarked]
type IV - Your stamp is Scott #535 [offset; violet; unwatermarked]




Victory
design A150
Your stamp is Scott #537




Lincoln
design 158
overprinted "Kans." - Your stamp is Scott #661
"Nebr." - Your stamp is Scott #672
not overprinted perf. 11 - Your stamp is Scott #555
perf. 11 x 101/2 - Your stamp is Scott #635
perf. 10 - Your stamp is Scott #584
perf. 10 vert. - Your stamp is Scott #600




Washington
design A214
Your stamp is Scott #708




Olympics
design A224
Your stamp is Scott #718




Washington
design A226
perf. 11 x 101/2 - Your stamp is Scott #720
perf. 10 vert. - Your stamp is Scott #721
perf. 10 hor. - Your stamp is Scott #722




William Penn
design A227
Your stamp is Scott #724




Daniel Webster
design A228
Your stamp is Scott #725




James Oglethorpe
design A229
Your stamp is Scott #726




Washington's Headquarters
Newburg, N.Y.
design A230
Your stamp is Scott #727 or #752
Singles with this design may be Scott #727 or Scott #752 (from a Farley special printing). The only way to be sure that a stamp is #752 is when it is one of a pair of stamps that has a gutter between them.




Century of Progress
design A232
perf. 101/2 x 11 - Your stamp is Scott #729
imperf. - Your stamp is Scott #731a or #767a
Imperforate singles with this design may be Scott #731a or Scott #767a (from a Farley special printing). The only way to be sure that a stamp is #767a is when it is one of a pair of stamps that has a gutter between them.




National Recovery Act
"in a common determination"
design A233
Your stamp is Scott #732




Byrd Antarctic Expedition II
design A234
perf. 11 - Your stamp is Scott #733 or a single from Scott #753
imperf. - Your stamp is Scott #735a (usually there is some marginal inscription along one or two sides) or 768a
Perf. 11 singles with this design may be Scott #733 or Scott #753 (from a Farley special printing). The only way to be sure that a stamp is #753 is when it is one of a pair of stamps that has a line between them.

Imperf. singles with this design may be Scott #735a or 768a. The only way to be sure that a stamp is #768a is when it is one of a pair of stamps that has a gutter between them.




Maryland Tercentenary
design A236
Your stamp is Scott #736




Mothers of America
design A237
perf. 11 x 101/2 - Your stamp is Scott #737
perf. 11 - Your stamp is Scott #738
imperf. - Your stamp is Scott #754




Wisconsin Tercentenary
design A238
perf. 11 - Your stamp is Scott #739
imperf. - Your stamp is Scott #755




Mt. Rainier
design A241
perf. 11 - Your stamp is Scott #742
imperf. - Your stamp is Scott #750a (usually there is some marginal inscription along one or two sides) or Scott #758 or Scott #770a
Imperf. singles with this design may be Scott #750a or Scott #758 (from a Farley special printing) or Scott #770a (also from a Farley special printing. The only way to be sure that a stamp is #758 is when it is one of a pair of stamps that has a line between them. The only way to be sure that a stamp is #770a is when it is one of a pair of stamps that has a gutter between them.




Connecticut Tercentenary
design A249
perf. 11 x 101/2 - Your stamp is Scott #772
imperf. - Your stamp is Scott #778a (usually there is some marginal inscription along one or two sides; see Scott #778 below)




California Pacific International Exposition
design A250
perf. 11 x 101/2 - Your stamp is Scott #773
imperf. - Your stamp is Scott #778b (usually there is some marginal inscription along one or two sides; see Scott #778 below)




Boulder Dam
design A251
Your stamp is Scott #774




Michigan Centenary
design A252
perf. 11 x 101/2 - Your stamp is Scott #775
imperf. - Your stamp is Scott #778c (usually there is some marginal inscription along one or two sides; see Scott #778 below)




Texas Centennial
design A253
perf. 11 x 101/2 - Your stamp is Scott #776
imperf. - Your stamp is Scott #778d (usually there is some marginal inscription along one or two sides; see Scott #778 below)




Rhode Island Tercentenary
design A254
Your stamp is Scott #777




Third International Philatelic Exposition
design A254a
Your stamp is Scott #778




Arkansas Centennial
design A255
Your stamp is Scott #782




Oregon Territory
design A256
Your stamp is Scott #783




Susan B. Anthony
design A257
Your stamp is Scott #784




Sherman, Grant, and Sheridan
design A260
Your stamp is Scott #787




Farragut and Porter
design A265
Your stamp is Scott #792




Ordinance of 1787
design A268
Your stamp is Scott #795




Constitution Sesquicentennial
design A270
Your stamp is Scott #798




Hawaii
design A271
Your stamp is Scott #799




Alaska
design A272
Your stamp is Scott #800




Puerto Rico
design A273
Your stamp is Scott #801




Virgin Islands
design A274
Your stamp is Scott #802




Thomas Jefferson
design A279
perf. 11 x 101/2 - Your stamp is Scott #807
perf. 10 vert - Your stamp is Scott #842
perf. 10 hor. - Your stamp is Scott #851




U. S. Constitution ratification
1788
design A307
Your stamp is Scott #835




landing of the Swedes and Finns
design A308
Your stamp is Scott #836




Northwest Territory centennial
design A309
Your stamp is Scott #837




Iowa Territory centennial, 1838–1938
design A310
Your stamp is Scott #838




Golden Gate International Exposition
design A311
Your stamp is Scott #852




New York World's Fair
1939
design A312
Your stamp is Scott #853




Sesquicentennial of Washington's inauguration
1789–1939
design A313
Your stamp is Scott #854




centennial of baseball
design A314
Your stamp is Scott #855




25th anniversary Panama Canal
design A315
Your stamp is Scott #856




300th anniversary
of printing in colonial America
design A316
Your stamp is Scott #857




50th anniversary of statehood, 1889–1939
design A317
Your stamp is Scott #858




Ralph Waldo Emerson
design A320
Your stamp is Scott #861




James Russell Lowell
design A325
Your stamp is Scott #866




Charles W. Eliot
design A330
Your stamp is Scott #871




Luther Burbank
design A335
Your stamp is Scott #876




Victor Herbert
design A340
Your stamp is Scott #881




Augustus Saint-Gaudens
design A345
Your stamp is Scott #886




Cyrus Hall McCormick
design A350
Your stamp is Scott #891




pony express 80th anniversary
design A353
Your stamp is Scott #894




fiftieth anniversary Pan-American Union
design A354
Your stamp is Scott #895




fiftieth anniversary Idaho, 1890–1940
design A355
Your stamp is Scott #896




State of Wyoming 50th anniversary
1890–1940
design A356
Your stamp is Scott #897




Coronado Cuarto Centennial, 1540–1940
design A357
Your stamp is Scott #898




for defense: security, education, conservation, health
design A360
Your stamp is Scott #901




75th anniversary of the
13th amendment
design A361
Your stamp is Scott #902




Vermont, 150 anniversary of statehood
design A362
Your stamp is Scott #903




sesquicentennial of the statehood of Kentucky
1792–1942
design A363
Your stamp is Scott #904




win the war
design A364
Your stamp is Scott #905




completion of the first transcontinental railroad, 1869–1944
design A369
Your stamp is Scott #922




first steamship to cross the Atlantic, 1819–1944
design A370
Your stamp is Scott #923




centenary of the telegraph, 1844–1944
design A371
Your stamp is Scott #924




Corregidor
design A372
Your stamp is Scott #925




50th anniversary of motion pictures
design A373
Your stamp is Scott #926




Florida centennial, 1845–1945
design A374
Your stamp is Scott #927




toward united nations
design A375
Your stamp is Scott #928




Iwo Jima
design A376
Your stamp is Scott #929




Roosevelt, 1882–1945
design A379
Your stamp is Scott #932




U S Army
design A381
Your stamp is Scott #934




U. S. Navy
design A382
Your stamp is Scott #935




U. S. Coast Guard, 1790–1945
design A383
Your stamp is Scott #936




Alfred E. Smith, 1873–1944
design A384
Your stamp is Scott #937




Texas statehood, 1845–1945
design A385
Your stamp is Scott #938




U. S. Merchant Marine, peace and war
design A386
Your stamp is Scott #939




honoring those who have served
design A387
Your stamp is Scott #940




Tennessee - Volunteer State
150th anniversary of statehood
design A388
Your stamp is Scott #941




Iowa statehood centennial; 1846–1946
design A389
Your stamp is Scott #942




Smithsonian Institution, 1846–1946
for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men
design A390
Your stamp is Scott #943




Stephen Watts Kearny expedition
entry into Santa Fe, 1846–1946
design A391
Your stamp is Scott #944




Thomas A. Edison
design A392
Your stamp is Scott #945




Joseph Pulitzer, 1847–1947
Our republic and its press will rise or fall together
design A393
Your stamp is Scott #946




U. S. postage stamp centenary, 1847–1947
design A394
Your stamp is Scott #947




the doctor
design A396
Your stamp is Scott #949




the Utah centennial, 1847–1947
This is the place
design A397
Your stamp is Scott #950




U. S. Frigate Constitution, 1797–1947
design A398
Your stamp is Scott #951




Everglades National Park
design A399
Your stamp is Scott #952




Dr. George Washington Carver
design A400
Your stamp is Scott #953




California gold centennial, 1848–1948
design A401
Your stamp is Scott #954




Mississippi Territory, 1798–1948
design A402
Your stamp is Scott #955




these immortal chaplains, faith in action
design A403
Your stamp is Scott #956




Wisconsin centennial, 1848–1948
design A404
Your stamp is Scott #957




100 years of progress of women, 1848–1948
design A406
Your stamp is Scott #959




William Allen White
design A407
Your stamp is Scott #960




a century of friendship
United States - Canada, 1848–1948
design A408
Your stamp is Scott #961




Francis Scott Key
design A409
Your stamp is Scott #962




saluting young America
Youth Month, Sept. 1–30, 1948
design A410
Your stamp is Scott #963




Oregon Territory centennial, 1848–1948
design A411
Your stamp is Scott #964




Harlan F. Stone
design A412
Your stamp is Scott #965




Palomar Mountain Observatory
design A413
Your stamp is Scott #966




Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross
design A414
Your stamp is Scott #967




centennial of the American poultry industry
1848–1948
design A415
Your stamp is Scott #968




Gold Star mothers
design A416
Your stamp is Scott #969




Fort Kearny, Nebraska, 1848–1948
guardian of the pioneer
design A417
Your stamp is Scott #970




300th anniversary volunteer firemen, 1648–1948
design A418
Your stamp is Scott #971




Indian centennial: Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee, Seminole
design A419
Your stamp is Scott #972




Rough Riders, 1898–1948
design A420
Your stamp is Scott #973




Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the
Girl Scouts of the U.S.A.
design A421
Your stamp is Scott #974




Will Rogers
"I never met a man I didn't like"
design A422
Your stamp is Scott #975




Fort Bliss centennial, El Paso, Texas
1848–1948
design A423
Your stamp is Scott #976




Mona Michael, founder of memorial poppy
design A424
Your stamp is Scott #977




"That government of the people, by the people,
for the people shall not perish from the earth."
—Abraham Lincoln
design A425
Your stamp is Scott #978




one hundredth anniversary of the American Turners
a century of health
design A426
Your stamp is Scott #979




Joel Chandler Harris
design A427
Your stamp is Scott #980




Minnesota territorial centennial, 1849–1949
design A428
Your stamp is Scott #981




Washington and Lee University, 1749–1949
design A429
Your stamp is Scott #982




first gubernatorial election in Puerto Rico
design A430
Your stamp is Scott #983




Annapolis tercentenary, 1649–1949
design A431
Your stamp is Scott #984




final national encampment of the GAR
design A432
Your stamp is Scott #985




Edgar Allan Poe
design A433
Your stamp is Scott #986




American Bankers Association, 1875–1950
design A434
Your stamp is Scott #987




Samuel Gompers
design A435
Your stamp is Scott #988




national capital sesquicentennial
1800–1950
design A436
Your stamp is Scott #989




national capital sesquicentennial, 1800–1950
The White House
design A437
Your stamp is Scott #990




national capital sesquicentennial, 1800–1950
U. S. Supreme Court
design A438
Your stamp is Scott #991




national capital sesquicentennial, 1800–1950
design A439
Your stamp is Scott #992